Is It Legal to Watch Netflix Using a VPN?
Netflix has become extremely popular in the last decade. Many of us watch Netflix programs on a regular basis. Currently there’re more than 75 million people subscribed to Netflix’s service. However, recently Netflix announced that they would ban VPN usage for watching their programs, which has stirred a lot of discussions and many people are quite upset or even angry about this move.
Why does Netflix disallow VPN? VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are technical ways to allow people add more security to their online activities. At the same time, a VPN can be used to disguise a user’s location. For example, if Joe is watching Netflix online from Paris, Netflix will know Joe is in France because his IP address is showing a France IP. As a result, Netflix will show Joe its French programs. However, if Joe is a VPN user and he first connects to his VPN provider’s VPN server located in San Francisco and then starts watching Netflix from Paris, Netflix might be fooled to think Joe is a U.S. watcher and then shows Joe its U.S. programs.
Actually many Netflix users around the world have been using VPN to watch Netflix programs. Until recently they have been OK doing this. Also, it’s been quite easy these days to sign up for a VPN service. A VPN provider usually has servers in many world-wide locations, for example, it’s quite easy to find a cheap VPN for Austria and a VPN for China. It's also has become quite common for VPN users to diguise their locations. For example, "VPN into China" is quite possible for users with a VPN account. Besides VPN, people have been using other techniques such as online proxy and smart DNS to bypass geo-targeting implemented by Netflix.
But this has changed. After announcing ban on VPN, Netflix started cracking down on VPN services. Recently a lot of world-wide Netflix subscribers found their VPN service no longer working for watching Netflix. They would see error messages such as “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
While many people are angry about this situation. It might be worth finding out whether it is legal to watch Netflix using a VPN service.
You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location.
If you consult a customer support representative from Netflix, asking about VPN usages, you might get answers like this: